And as quickly as it started, I feel like it is over. The book. The book I asked and asked for from several family members for Christmas. The book that I was giddy to start reading at the first of the year. The book that I hoped would bring me closer to a love for reading, comprehending and understanding myself, just a little bit better.
So my quick little re-cap on this book is just this…we all have “mess” in our life, we all have issues, struggles, trials, tribulations, failures, disappointments, anxieties, worries, fear, hopelessness and muck! No one lives or leaves this world unscathed. No one. Some of us lay it all out on the floor, while others may tuck it away as if it is a deep dark secret that they just want to go away. Some of us put on our armor and fight the demons while never letting ourselves truly feel the impact of the hurt and heartache that comes with it. Some of us feel BIG (this is my category), we often purge to any and all (sorry lady at the coffee carafe, it had been a long day) and we can cry, laugh or lose all self control at the drop of the hat. We get the ‘feels’ and we get them a lot. Regardless of how you take, interpret or release your pain, just know it’s safe to have it. Your achilles, be it marriage, finances, humans, anxiety, miscarriage, infertility, depression, physical health issues or your own personal insecurities, are a part of you. They make you unique, individual, strong, vulnerable, special. They give you MOXY! Oh I love this word and all that it entails. Moxy is your strength, it’s your grit, its your empowerment! Without Mess, we don’t get Moxy! (Thank you Jen Hatmaker for making this word a staple in my life)
I have learned along this journey of reading, Of Mess and Moxie, that it’s okay to be in a funk (read Chapter. 15, Doldrums), it’s okay to let your husband win a fight (Ch. 11, Defer and Prefer) and it’s okay to trust in the church, be the church (Ch. 12, Sanctuary). I was able to dream of beautiful experiences that I hope to one day create with my own family. I now know that I can stop the noise that goes in my head of past experiences and be the voice of life and new experiences. I know that not every book is for everyone, you must find the writer that truly speaks to you and your heart, this book, this writer just happens to be mine. I couldn’t in good faith write about my re-cap of this book without highly recommending it for the humor, rawness and humility at best. She encourages us to be US, no judgement, no questions asked. You have a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store? Well who doesn’t?! Your husband is on day 4 of silent treatment? Welcome to the club girlfriend! It is my dream that we can all start being more transparent, more real and less ‘perfect’. I may not know Jen but I have a feeling she and anyone who loves her would fit right in to my world, my porch, my conversation because if for no other reason, why not?
So as I close this book, not gonna lie…sad to see her daily humor that removes my ‘Morning Scowl’ (see previous post), I realize that I have now been equipped with more armor. I am a part of a tribe, sisterhood of women who are loved by eachother and by Jesus. I realize that rather than being sad to have finished something I truly enjoyed, I can be excited for the next journey ahead. What book will I dive into next, perhaps a new author, a new genre? What trip will I plan next? What person will I meet next? Friends, good things don’t have to come to an end, the end of one chapter is merely the beginning of the next! While leaving a season, experience or person behind that you loved oh so deeply and can’t imagine not still being a part of, you are opening a door to the mystery of your next amazing season, experience or person/people. I must say that at 35, I am without a doubt, no hesitation in the BEST season of my life (miscarriages, estranged family relationships, marriage ups/down, kid meltdowns, my meltdowns and ALL!) This season of heartache and hurt has also poured some of the most amazing friendships into my life, has poured a more solid foundation into my marriage, has taught me grace, mercy, forgiveness and most importantly that it’s okay to sever ‘dead limbs’ from my tree (see previous post, ‘Toxic relationships’). Not everyone has to like me, love me or even want to be around me. What matters most is that I wake up each day, put one foot in front of the other, pray over myself and those around me and just act out of love. Pure and simple love. Love without limits or expectations.
Lets not let the “end” of one chapter define us, break us or make us feel incomplete. Lets let that period lead to the Capital letter of our next chapter. Lets surround ourselves by friends and family that lift us up and love on us. Lets love on those that hurt us, condemn us and judge us. Lets find a new book, find a new friend, plan a new day. Lets leave the past where it is, because there ain’t no goin’ back sister friend. Don’t dwell, over analyze or re-read that text message over and over again (ehhheemmm….Melanie!) Lets delete the negative and “follow” the positive. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but I just have so much hope for our generation, our season our nation. I have hope in you. I have hope in me.
Let today be your new sentence, filled with promise, possibly some hurt but most importantly some hope to fill your soul and nurture your spirit. I love you. You got this friend! WE got this!
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)
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Also, feel free to list new book recommendations for me in the comments below!!!